After an uncharacteristically tumultuous summer, the third-seeded Maria Sharapova announced on Wednesday that she was withdrawing from next week’s US Open because of a right shoulder injury.
“Maria has informed us that she will be unable to compete at the US Open this year due to a right shoulder bursitis and has withdrawn from the tournament,” the tournament director, David Brewer, said in a statement. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her return to New York next year.”
Sharapova later posted on Facebook: “Withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but there just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly.
“It’s certainly not an easy decision ahead of one of my favourite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation.”
With Sharapova’s withdrawal, No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska will move to the No. 3 seed, and all subsequent seeds will move up a spot. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia will become the new No. 32 seed and a lucky loser from the final round of the qualifying tournament will take Sharapova’s slot in the 128-player draw.
The American Mardy Fish also withdrew from the tournament Wednesday, citing continuing health concerns. Fish has struggled with physical and mental health problems.
Sharapova, 26, was first affected by right shoulder problems five years ago and had surgery to repair two tears in her rotator cuff in October 2008. When she returned to the tour 10 months later, she struggled with inconsistent serving.
But Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion, steadily returned to previous form, returning to the No. 1 ranking and completing the career Grand Slam by winning the French Open last year. She made the French Open final again this year, but lost to Serena Williams.
After that loss, Sharapova’s season turned inside out. At a news conference for Wimbledon, the normally composed Sharapova lashed out at Williams for comments she had made in an article in Rolling Stone and directed attention toward the marital status of Williams’s coach and boyfriend, Patrick Mouratoglou.
With Sharapova dating the Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov, who had been previously coached by Mouratoglou as well as romantically linked with Williams, the episode became a spectacle and an uncharacteristic distraction for Sharapova.
Perhaps to the dismay of the British tabloids, Sharapova lost in Wimbledon’s second round to the 131st-ranked qualifier, Michelle Larcher de Brito.